The third-period horn at Nationwide Arena on Monday night sounded the end to the Columbus Blue Jackets' season, and thus kicked off the most compelling offseason in franchise history.
Columbus has six pending unrestricted free agents. There are deadline additions Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Adam McQuaid, and Keith Kinkaid, and franchise pillars Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin, who were both unwilling to indulge in extension talks during the season.
"Moving forward we want guys who are proud to be Blue Jackets, proud to be living in Columbus, and loving it here," general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told The Athletic's Tom Reed after Monday's series-ending defeat to the Boston Bruins. "It's really important that they bleed blue. Guys that don't want to be here – good luck."
Bobrovsky wrapped up his seventh season with the Blue Jackets and ranks first in franchise history in wins, goals-against average, save percentage, shutouts, and many other major goaltending statistics.